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Drill, Planter Changes Allow Earlier No-Tilling

By reconfiguring their no-till rigs, these brothers moved up planting dates.

The Reed brothers of Washington, Iowa, were dedicated no-tillers, but like no-tillers nearly everywhere, they wanted to seed without waiting the normal extra 2 or 3 days.

Until 5 Years Ago, That Is.

That’s when they hit the fields with Nu-Till, their own trademarked version of no-till, which allows them to plant early in wet, even saturated, soils and get a perfect same-day emergence stand.

“If we waited for perfect soil conditions, we didn’t have any problem establishing a good stand,” says Nick Reed. “The problem was that it was often several days past the optimum corn-planting time. That meant we weren’t getting the extra corn yields we could have by planting earlier.

“If we planted as early as we wanted to, we ended up with compaction in the seed furrow, smeared soil, poorly closed planting slots and an uneven stand.”

He and brothers, Paul, Kevin and Ken, spent several years adding and removing coulters, trash whippers, heavy-duty springs, etc., from their no-till planting units.

When none worked to their satisfaction, they decided the real problem was the no-till planter, which was not designed to work in soil that was firm or slightly wet. The Max-Emerge type no-till planter that the Reeds were using was designed nearly a quarter of a century ago to create a seedbed in a loose, dry and even cloddy soil. They felt this had something to do with the problem, as most Midwest no-till soil conditions tend to be firm and moist.

“These planter units…

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